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Old 17-03-2015, 12:31   #1
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Cable Tension Gauge Options?

Anyone ever use a vehicle brake cable tension gauge to check tension? The device seems more practical than the Loos version. You would just need to calibrate and figure the math for different diameters. More than likely, I would set the cables to what I feel is the right tension and then use it to make sure that my (like sized) cables all have the same tension. Here is one on ebay? What do you guys think:

Ford Rotunda OTC 206 086 Parking Brake Cable Tension Gauge F 650 F 750 LCF | eBay
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Old 18-03-2015, 14:21   #2
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Re: Cable Tension Gauge Options?

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Originally Posted by alfreddiaz View Post
Anyone ever use a vehicle brake cable tension gauge to check tension? The device seems more practical than the Loos version. You would just need to calibrate and figure the math for different diameters. More than likely, I would set the cables to what I feel is the right tension and then use it to make sure that my (like sized) cables all have the same tension. Here is one on ebay? What do you guys think:



Ford Rotunda OTC 206 086 Parking Brake Cable Tension Gauge F 650 F 750 LCF | eBay

Suggest you get a rigging tuning guide, like Seldens mast rigging guide, it's important to know that the Static tensioning of a mast rig can be done at the dock, as it is a percentage of the breaking strength of the wire.
However, the Dynamic tuning is done underway in 15kts of wind at a heeling angle of aprox. 15 to 20 degrees of heel.
This doesn't apply to fore or back stays although.


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Old 18-03-2015, 14:32   #3
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Re: Cable Tension Gauge Options?

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Anyone ever use a vehicle brake cable tension gauge to check tension? The device seems more practical than the Loos version.
For our small boat I have the smallest Loos 'pro' gauge PT1, and the brake cable tension gauge you linked to would be sufficient for that range, but it's upper limit of 450 lb would be insufficient for larger boats.

Have you ever used a Loos gauge to measure rig tension? It doesn't get much easier than that... attach and read. No hands
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Old 19-03-2015, 04:29   #4
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Re: Cable Tension Gauge Options?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, alfreddiaz.
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Old 19-03-2015, 05:50   #5
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Re: Cable Tension Gauge Options?

All you need is a yardstick, calipers, and some electrical tape. Follow the instructions in the Selden mast manual.
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Old 19-03-2015, 10:59   #6
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Re: Cable Tension Gauge Options?

I am reluctant to get the Loos gauge because of the cost and I don't want to have to buy two. The Loos gauge says it is only for certain diameters. I haven't checked my stays for their diameter. But I am pretty certain the upper and lower stays are one diameter and the spreader stay is slightly larger. I sail a 1980 Catalina 25, but I am pretty sure the original cables have long since been changed out and may have been upgraded. What I don't want to do is have to get two Loos gauges. One would be okay, but I don't understand why they don't just make instrument for a wider range of cable sizes.

As for using the brake cable gauge, there is one for a total $35, which is about half what I can get a used Loos gauge. It would be a handy tool to quickly test if the upper and lower shroud cables are the same tension, as well as making sure the spreader cables are the same tension.

I might just offer the guy $15 and see what he says. That's just three lattes. And I would rather have a new tool in my garage than hand over more hard earned dollars to Starbucks.

So I am not certain what I will do at this point, expect for the following...

...What I will do is read Seldens rigging guide. I just downloaded "Hints and Advice on Rigging and Tuning Your Selden Mast." Is that the right one? Hope so. I know my mast was also upgraded and it might even be a Selden, though that shouldn't matter when it comes to setting the tension.

The entire pdf is 43 pages, so I have some reading to do for the next couple nights.

I think I will offer the brake cable guy $10 bucks and see if he bites.

I'm a cheap bastard.

Thanks.
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Old 19-03-2015, 18:21   #7
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Re: Cable Tension Gauge Options?

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...What I will do is read Seldens rigging guide. I just downloaded "Hints and Advice on Rigging and Tuning Your Selden Mast." Is that the right one? Hope so. I know my mast was also upgraded and it might even be a Selden, though that shouldn't matter when it comes to setting the tension.

The entire pdf is 43 pages, so I have some reading to do for the next couple nights.
Yes, that is the one. Look at the section entitled "The folding rule method" (p 29 in my copy). This method is based on measuring wire rope stretch as a function of the applied tension. For example, with 5% of breaking load (BL) applied, 1x19 SS wire rope stretches .05%. Selden recommends tensionning the shrouds to 15% BL. The "folding rule method" of measuring stretch is very simple and requires only a set of calipers and a 2 meter long stick. You'd need to buy the calipers if you don't already have them, but they have many more uses than a tension gauge.
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